Last week was the start of the college football season, and many Sling TV subscribers were surprised to find out that the Big Ten game on FS1 was blacked out on Sling TV. This is the first year FOX has rights to air Big Ten home games on FS1 and FOX.
According to multiple sources close to the issue it turns out that FOX is charging an extra fee for Big Ten games on FS1. All other companies agreed to pay the extra fee for Big Ten games on FS1, but Sling TV seems to be arguing against the extra fee just for Big Ten games on FOX.
Now this fight will not affect any other conference games, such as the Pac-12, and it won’t affect Big Ten games that air on FOX, for example. This new fee is just for Big Ten games that air on FS1. Pac-12 games, for example, that aire on FS1 and will stream on Sling TV.
Update: Sling TV just sent Cord Cutters News the following statement on this:
“Our customers paid for these Big 10 games when they were part of ESPN’s lineup. Since then, the Big 10 has sold some of its programming rights to Fox who is now demanding our customers pay for the games again. Our customers should not be required to double-pay for programing. It’s these types of actions from Fox and the Big 10 that needlessly drive up the price of TV. We continue to work with both groups to allow us to broadcast these games.” Said Warren Schlichting, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales, Sling TV.
Updated #2: A Fox spokesperson has given Cord Cutters news an official statement:
“We regret that Sling has elected to deny its customers access to over 40 Big Ten football and basketball games this season on FS1. As a result, Sling will be the only pay TV operator not carrying these games, and its subscribers will miss out on some of this season’s biggest college matchups on FS1.”
Blackouts over carriage fees are nothing new; however, this is one of the first times cord cutters have been caught in the middle of a fee fight resulting in a blackout. It is also one of the only times I know of that the blackout only affects a single conference—not a channel as a whole.
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